OFFSTAGE: Who Will Carrie Underwood Write for Next?

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Slowly but surely, Carrie Underwood has been co-writing more and more songs. And I thought they’d been for her own albums. But Lauren Alaina’s newest tune, “Eighteen Inches,” was co-written by Underwood, Kelley Lovelace and Ashley Gorley.

And when I met newcomer Rachel Holder last month, she told me Underwood had written a song on her debut album, too. It’s called “Lord Help Me.” Underwood co-wrote that one with Katrina Elam and Ashley Monroe, and it has a “Lord help me, I’m fallin’ in love” kind of vibe. I think Holder’s voice will be perfect for it. But then again, so would Underwood’s.

It always makes me wonder how songwriters decide which songs to keep and which ones to give away. I know with “Eighteen Inches,” Underwood is glad Alaina is the one singing it.

“It’s so wonderful when a song you had a hand in writing finds the perfect home,” Underwood said. “Lauren’s voice tells the story of ’Eighteen Inches’ beautifully. What an incredible talent!” The song, about how there are 18 inches from your head to your heart, goes to radio on July 16.